No matter how long you’ve been writing you can’t tell me that you haven’t stumbled across competition at least once!
Seriously, it’s everywhere: college, high school, your job, online. I repeat, everywhere.
There are loads more instances of where you find competition, but I won’t bore you with something you already know.
Instead I’m going to bore you by going through the good and bad sides of competition! Yay! Whoopee! Yahhhhhhh!
*Dramatically jumps into air*
My excitement aside, I’ll start with the good side.
1. Good Things to Remember About Having Writing Competition
I’m a very stubborn person, so I don’t like to submit to the fact that sometimes things I don’t like are good for me. An example of this instance is my hatred for competition.
As much as I dislike admitting it, competition can be great.
It may come in a fancy disguise that you know as that annoying hipster girl who seems way further along in her writing career than you, but she’ll help in the end.
For one, when you’re competing with someone else for the same thing, you work a little harder. If they’ve got a published story, you get a published story. If they take writing classes, you take writing class.
You get the point. People push themselves to achieve all that others can achieve.
“If [enter name of person] can do it, then I can do it too,” says EVERYONE.
Also, competition is fantastic when you need advice. Other writers are SUPER helpful if they think someone will listen while they ramble about their experience (take my blog for instance) 🙂
Even if you’re too headstrong (like me) to walk up to them and ask, surely you can stalk their social media. Don’t deny having done this because you know it works. It may anger you a little to see all they’ve done, but you’ll find plenty of answers to your questions.
Competition is also good to alleviate pride.
If we went every day with no competition, we’d be the most big-headed people around.
You NEED competition to remain a humble human being.
Meanwhile, competition belittles you. It forces you to believe you’re not good enough, while also giving you the motivation to be good enough.
So, you may not like it, but you need competition in your writing career and elsewhere.
2. Bad Things About Having Writing Competition
The bad thing about having writing competition is that it exists!
Honestly, I could never marry another writer. I can just barely be friends with other writers and even that is difficult.
I HATE COMPETITION.
Competition brings out a horrible side in anyone. We all know what it’s like.
And then there are those stupid try-hards at the gym that make everything a competition. SERIOUSLY, can’t I just use the treadmill in peace?
Competition is also horrible because it makes you lose possibilities. If someone else is just a smidge better than maybe they’ll get the prize and you’ll be shuffled away into the background. Again.
Then, when you’re shuffled away you lose hope. After a few more defeats you’ll assume that you weren’t meant to be a writer.You’ll tell yourself that this is a sign.
It’s not a sign, though! It’s just your lovely little competition ruining your career.
I’m having trouble even thinking of points for why competition is bad because it’s just all around bad. Even the positive points of it are laced with thinly veiled evil. . .
That said, this is how you learn to live with competition:
3. Living With Competition
You need to learn to control your competitive nature. If you’re like me, you naturally strive to do so. If you were that kid in high school who took every game way to seriously, then you might need some assistance.
The best way to manage anger over your competition, is to channel it into your writing. Thrive off that emotion and form it into a completed work. You may be p***** off now, but when you finish you’ll feel a lot better. Plus, you can go rub that newly-written-whatever in your competition’s face and show them that you exist too!
Just make sure you’ve edited this work well. Wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself by using the wrong form of “there”. . .
Anyway, you need to just accustom yourself to living with competition. You deal with it so much in everyday life that you should be a pro at managing it for your writing.
So, to conclude, I wish you the best of luck in not strangling your competition. 😉